Soup Stew Chili
I know a lot of you are probably expecting a post about my NYC adventures I mentioned on Friday, or Luke’s 1st birthday party, but today is dedicated to March’s Secret Recipe Club and this time I got to choose something from A Cook’s Quest! I was very interested in Jenn’s Baked Penne with Chicken, Broccoli and Cream Sauce, and her Peanut Butter Struesel Brownies, but decided to go for something a little different – a soup made with tortellini. I actually worried this soup was going to taste like eating tortellini in too much sauce/watered down sauce, but it was excellent! Imagine a flavorful, creamy tomato soup, with cheesy tortellini thrown into the mix. Pretty much a great idea.
Two years ago: Banana Pecan Waffles
CREAMY TOMATO TORTELLINI SOUP
2 cloves of garlic, minced
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 cans (10-3/4 oz. each) condensed tomato soup
2-1/2 cups milk
1 cup heavy cream
2 cups chicken broth
2 Tbsp tomato paste
1 tsp onion powder
2 tsp Italian seasoning
1/2 tsp salt
1 package (9 oz.) refrigerated cheese tortellini
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
- Heat a large stock pot until hot. Add olive oil and garlic. Saute until the garlic becomes fragrant and slightly golden, about 30 seconds to a minute. When the garlic is golden, add the soup, milk, heavy cream, chicken stock and spices. Let this simmer for about 8 minutes then add your pasta. Follow the instructions on your brand of pasta. Cooking time may vary. Ladle the soup into bowls and enjoy with Parmesan cheese and garlic bread.
Source: Adapted slightly from A Cook’s Quest.
I’m not sure what has changed in my schedule these days, but lately feel as though I have a lot less time than before. Yes, I come into lab late at night sometimes and on weekends for various experiments, but that’s nothing out of the ordinary. Even more strange is that I feel like I spend less time cooking/baking than I used to, and have missed a day or two here and there at the gym (which is so not like me). Where has all the time gone??
With this mysterious change in time, recipes that require less time are even more enticing than usual. Enter this quick and healthy chowder. Chowders are definitely comfort food, and they become even more comforting when they are healthified! This recipe caught my attention because of my my happy experience with cauliflower pizza crust. It’s made with cauliflower and milk instead of potatoes and heavy cream, which magically tastes almost like the real thing but with less carbs.
BACON-CHEDDAR CAULIFLOWER CHOWDER
8 slices center-cut bacon, chopped (half used for garnish)
1/2 small onion, chopped
1 celery stalk, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
Salt & pepper
4 cups shredded or grated cauliflower (1/2 large head)
2 Tbsp water
2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
2 cups reduced sodium chicken broth, divided
2 cups 2% milk
3-4 dashes hot sauce
2-1/2 cups (12oz) shredded sharp cheddar cheese, divided
2 green onions, chopped (optional)
- Whisk together flour and 1/4 cup chicken broth in a small bowl then set aside.
- Saute bacon in a large soup pot over medium heat until crisp. Using a slotted spoon, transfer bacon to a paper towel-lined plate then remove all but 1 Tablespoon drippings from the pot. Add chopped onion, celery, and garlic to the pot then season with salt and pepper and saute until vegetables are tender, about 4-5 minutes.
- Add cauliflower to the pot then stir to combine. Add water then place a lid on top and steam cauliflower until tender, stirring a couple times, about 5-7 minutes. Add remaining chicken broth and milk then turn up heat and bring to a boil.
- Slowly whisk in flour/chicken broth mixture while stirring, then turn down heat and simmer for 3-4 minutes, or until chowder has thickened (if desired, puree half the soup with a blender or immersion blender). Turn off heat then stir in 2 cups cheddar cheese until smooth, then stir in half the cooked bacon. Taste and adjust salt, pepper, and/or hot sauce if necessary. Serve topped with remaining shredded cheese, cooked bacon, and green onions, if desired.
Source: Iowa Girl Eats
Oh fall, how I love you (even though spring is my favorite) and all the heart warming food you bring – football feasts, seasonal flavors, pre-hibernation worthy foods, and of course soups! Whenever it first starts to get cold, especially on a cold rainy day, I always crave tomato basil soup and a gooey grilled cheese. If only I had a fireplace to go with it (instead I have a fireplace scented candle and a fireplace dvd). But thankfully, I have more curiosity into the world of soups than to just stick with tomato all the time.
The first soup of this fall season is this chicken gnocchi soup. It is supposed to be a copy cat recipe of the soup at Olive Garden, although I cannot say how close it resembles because I’ve never had theirs. I haven’t been to an Olive Garden in a long time because of my habit to eat at local restaurants more often than chains. But either way, if this soup is at all like theirs then it might be my favorite on their menu.
I served it with toasted whole wheat pita wedges that had been buttered and sprinkled with garlic powder inside. Mmmm.
One year ago: Apple Butter Granola
CHICKEN GNOCCHI SOUP
1 medium onion, diced
1/2 cup celery, sliced (about 2 stalks)
2 garlic cloves, minced
4 Tbsp butter (I used Melt buttery spread)
4 Tbsp olive oil
1/4 cup whole wheat flour
1 quart half and half (I used evaporated milk)
1 cup chicken breasts, diced and cooked
1 cup carrots, shredded (about 1-1/2 large)
16 oz. package whole wheat gnocchi
14 oz. can reduced sodium chicken broth
1 cup fresh spinach, coarsely chopped
1/2 tsp dried thyme
Salt and pepper to taste
- In a large stockpot, saute the onion, celery and garlic in the butter and olive oil. When the onion is clear, add the flour and form a roux. Stir and cook a minute. Add the half and half and bring to a simmer. Add the chicken and carrots to the stockpot and allow to thicken, stirring often.
- Meanwhile in another pan, cook the gnocchi according to package directions. When the soup gets thicker, add the chicken broth, gnocchi, spinach and seasonings. Cover and heat through.
Source: Adapted slightly from Pass the Sushi.
Frequent flyer miles irritate me. I have been flying all over the place this year on Delta, including to Europe, and I still have not stocked up enough to be bumped up to whatever the next level is from the bottom. I sometimes think that frequent flyer mile programs are only meant for business folks who travel for their jobs. Which seems unfair since their job is paying for all of it anyway. And speaking of frequent flyer miles, assuming it wouldn’t be as much of a pain to stock up on how about frequent driver miles? My time in the car has greatly increased as of late and I feel like there should be some compensation for it. I’d take even a free CD of my choice to keep me entertained and awake. Music provides safety.
But I digress. Let’s talk about soup. Yes soup in the middle of this hot, gross summer. For some reason when you call it “chowder” it becomes summer appropriate and sounds more appealing. This corn chowder uses corn freshly cut from the cob and there’s even a mix of zucchini and orzo to top it off. This was one batch of leftovers I didn’t mind eating for a few days in a row.
CORN CHOWDER WITH ZUCCHINI AND ORZO
2 Tbsp unsalted butter, divided (I used Melt)
1 medium zucchini, medium diced
1/4 lb cooked whole wheat orzo
1 bunch scallions, white and green parts separated and thinly sliced
2 cups vegetable stock
1 cup water
Salt and pepper
3 cups corn kernels (from 4 ears), cobs reserved
- In a medium saucepan, melt 1 tablespoon butter over medium-high. Add zucchini and saute until crisp-tender, 4 minutes. Stir in orzo and heat until warmed through. Transfer to a bowl and toss with scallions greens; season with salt and pepper.
- Melt remaining 1 tablespoon butter in the same saucepan over medium-high. Ass scallion whites and saute until tender, 3 minutes. Add corn kernels and cook until tender, 3 minutes. Add vegetable stock, water, and corncobs and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook until chowder thickens slightly, about 8 minutes.
- Remove from heat and discard cobs and season with salt and pepper. In batched, fill a blender halfway with chowder and puree, or use an immersion blender. Serve chowder topped with zucchini mixture.
Source: Adapted slightly from Everyday Food, July/August 2012
Before I dive into the St. Patrick’s Day themed Holiday Recipe Club post today, I suppose I should tell you how my mom’s surgery went after the dramatic story I told yesterday. Agreed? I feel like I am dangling something tantalizing in front of you.
The pre-op business took all of the morning and then the balloon test to make sure they could proceed with the real surgery took a little while longer. Surgery didn’t truly begin until mid-afternoon. Originally the plan was to cut off the carotid artery as she had enough blood flow without it due to a precious surgery, but the process was causing her to become sick (vagal response) despite all of their efforts. Being a life-threatening situation, they went ahead and tried something else which only had a 1% chance of being completed…
They got it to work! The doctor was ecstatic (myself and family included) and said the carotid artery was saved via stent and the aneurysm itself was now filled 95% with coils. He may have to go back in to fill the remaining 5%, but we shall see how things go. Of course I didn’t have a clue how these coils worked so after my aunt explaining to me what she was told by a nurse, and a little research on the web, it is a platinum coil that causes a clotting reaction to occur within the aneurysm itself and will hopefully eliminate it! I even found a little video if you care to watch on YouTube.
I didn’t get to speak with my mom but she is feeling well despite the nausea from the anesthetic. She will be held in the ICU overnight and will likely be in the hospital for another 2-3 days. I am very much relieved for it to be over. (Update: if the MRI results today look good she’s going home tomorrow!)
As for the bouquet of cake balls, being that the hospital is 2 hours from their home they have not made their presence known yet. Wish I had gotten them in the mail sooner so that they could have arrived on Tuesday instead. I wasn’t thinking it through and just wanted them to be there when she was done with surgery so I went for Wednesday. Hopefully their neighbor was able to scoop up the package so that it won’t be sitting outside the entire time they are gone.
But now I must redirect you into thinking about the upcoming holiday, St. Patrick’s Day. For today’s post we had to choose between pistachios, potatoes, and beer. My mind immediately went to soup. And a green one such as split-pea, with potatoes and beer. Little did I know that split-pea is an acceptable Irish food item with which to celebrate the holiday. Learning stuff is cool!
This was my first time ever making split-pea soup. In fact the last time I witnessed it being homemade by anyone was decades ago by my grandmother. I don’t recall how she makes it (and I doubt she does either because she’s from the generation that doesn’t need recipes), but I kind of like my split-pea soup a bit thicker. With the chunks of potato and carrot it ended up stew-y, and it was awesome. Especially when served with asiago biscuit twists. If you like a thinner split-pea, then simply stop cooking it when it reaches your preferred consistency.
Want to get in on the HRC fun? Sign up and get more information HERE. Also, don’t forget to check out all the other bloggers’ recipes at the bottom of this post.
One year ago: Creamy Baked Chicken Taquitos
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 large yellow onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
4 cups dried split peas, rinsed
9 medium carrots, peeled and sliced 1/2″ thick
4 large russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2″ cubes
1-1/2 tsp dried thyme
3 quarts reduced sodium chicken broth
1-12 oz. bottle of ale
Salt and pepper
- In a large stock pot or French oven, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the onions and cook until translucent, stirring occasionally. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Combine the remaining ingredients, except salt and pepper, in the pot and bring to a boil.
- Reduce heat to a simmer and cover slightly with the lid. Allow to cook for 1-1/2 hours, stirring occasionally. Add salt and pepper to taste and continue to cook until it reaches a desired consistency (I cooked mine a little on the thicker side). If it cooks down too much, simply add more chicken broth or water.
Source: Adapted from Teenie Cakes
My experiments at lab seem to have me functioning in awkward and inconvenient time frames a lot the past 3 months. Thankfully the results have been pretty good thus far, so I suppose I shouldn’t complain so long as it continues to cooperate. It is comforting to feel like your efforts weren’t for nothing.
Speaking of things being comforting how about this soup?
Yes I just made yet another cheesy transition. (Are you keeping count on how many times I do that?) But truly I loved this soup. This soup actually almost didn’t even happen. First it appears that barley is a rare commodity in these parts, so it took awhile to even find that final ingredient after I originally saw this recipe. And then when I was ready to make it one weeknight, I neglected to read the recipe through ahead of time (fail) and realized dinner wouldn’t be ready for a little over 3 hours. I may have had dessert for dinner and then dinner for dessert that night.
So the lesson here is to first live in an area that has decent grocery stores, and second to read recipes fully before you make them! Unless you like having soup for dessert. (I have to admit however, I didn’t mind ending my meals for the day on the note of this soup.)
BEEF WITH BARLEY SOUP
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 lb. beef cubes (for stew)
1 large onion, medium diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 large carrots, smaller ends cut into rounds, larger ends diced
2 russet potatoes, peeled and large diced
1-1/2 tsp seasoning salt
1 tsp salt
Ground black pepper, to taste
6 cups beef stock
2 cups water, if needed
1/2 cups pearl barley
1/2 tsp thyme
1 whole bay leaf
1 can (14.5 oz.) petite diced tomatoes
- Heat a large stock pot over medium high heat. Add the olive oil.
- Brown the beef cubes for three minutes in the oil, then add the onions and garlic. Lower the heat to medium low and cook until the onions are cooked and just start to caramelize. Stir as needed to keep onions and garlic from burning. Lower heat if necessary; drizzle a little more olive oil if needed to keep food from sticking.
- Add everything except the tomatoes to the pot and stir well. Increase the heat and bring the soup to a boil, then turn heat to low, cover pot, and simmer for two hours, stirring occasionally. Adjust heat as necessary to keep soup at a slow simmer. If the soup thickens too much, add a little more water or broth.
- Taste to correct seasonings, then add tomatoes and simmer for another hour. Remove bay leaf before serving.
Lasagna is a great comfort food. But soup is my favorite comfort food right now, so why not combine the two? You should be able to figure out the answer to that judging by the title of this post you are reading, which is “yes, do it!” because the result is wonderful. I know it sounds weird at first because I thought the same thing. But I have been converted and am so glad that there are leftovers. And they are all mine – back off!
The ricotta-blob bread was my favorite part (thank you Stephanie for introducing the term ricotta-blob into my food vocabulary). The ricotta brought the entire lasagna-feel of the soup together. And I loved letting it soak up some of the soup juices. MMmm juices.
One year ago: Pumpkin Pancakes
LASAGNA SOUP WITH RICOTTA BREAD
2 tsp olive oil
1 lb Italian turkey sausage, casings removed
1 onion, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1-32 oz container reduced sodium chicken broth
1-15 oz can tomato sauce
1-14.5 oz can petite diced tomatoes
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
4 oz whole wheat pasta
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
1/2 cup + 3 Tbsp grated Parmesan cheese, divided
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese, divided (plus more for topping)
1/2 cup lowfat ricotta
1 loaf multi-grain French bread, sliced 1/2″ thick
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- In a small bowl, mix together 1/2 cup each of Parmesan, mozzarella and ricotta, set aside.
- Heat the oil over medium-high heat in a large nonstick saucepot or Dutch oven. Add the sausage, onion, bell pepper, and garlic. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until the sausage is crumbled and browned, 8 – 10 minutes.
- Add the broth, tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, salt, and crushed red pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the flavors are blended, about 20 minutes. Add the noodles; bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the soup thickens slightly and the noodles are tender, 8-10 minutes. Remove from the heat; stir in remaining 1/2 cup mozzarella, basil, and the 3 tablespoons Parmesan.
- While the pasta cooks, spread a tablespoon of the cheese mixture onto each bread slice. Place on cookie sheet and bake for 10 minutes or until cheese is golden and bread edges are crunchy. Sprinkle more Mozzarella on top of the soup and serve with ricotta-blob bread.
Soup. It’s just about the only food I can think about other than pizza since the holidays, so be prepared for more of both. Not really sure what about January makes me want pizza, but soup at least makes sense. Even though the temperatures are not quite right for this time of year (high of 66 today? Seriously?), it’s cool enough for a bowl of comforting and creamy warmth.
For anyone who made the usual resolution to eat healthier, this isn’t really the recipe for you. Although I did use 2% instead of whole milk! Does that make up for the heavy cream and cheese load? Probably not so I guess it’s a good thing my resolution* didn’t involve anything in the food section. Although I just realized while typing, that this was made before New Years so it wouldn’t have mattered either way! Guess it does for all of you though doesn’t it? Boo, my apologies for not sharing sooner.
This quick soup will fill you up right and keep you warm from the inside-out. I enjoyed my first (and second) serving with a rosemary roll, MmMmm!
*What was my new years resolution? To relax. I know that may sound kind of odd, but I have a hard time allowing myself to do just that. It’s no wonder my upper back and shoulders are always tense. Go-go-go all the time yet somehow I have managed my 26 years on this earth without coffee. I am an enigma to most people.
One year ago: Homemade Hot Cocoa Mix
CHEDDAR BAKED POTATO SOUP
6 Tbsp butter
1/2 pound bacon, cut up
1 onion, chopped
3 carrots, chopped
3 ribs celery, finely chopped
2 Tbsp minced wet garlic
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 cups chicken stock
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup 2% milk
12 oz beer
4 lbs russet potatoes, peeled and chopped
1 cup grated extra sharp Cheddar
1 cup grated white sharp Cheddar
1 Tbsp hot sauce
1 Tbsp Worcestershire
- In a stockpot over medium heat, heat the butter, and add chopped bacon until cooked. Add the onion, carrot, celery, and garlic for about 5 minutes. Add flour to the pan and continue to stir for a couple of minutes. Add salt and pepper. Add the stock, then whisk in the milk, cream, and beer. Add in the potatoes and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer until the potatoes are tender, about 20 to 30 minutes.
- Add the cheeses, 1/2 cup at a time, stir to melt after each addition. Add more salt and pepper, to taste. Add hot sauce and Worcestershire, if desired.
Source: Adapted slightly from She’s Becoming Doughmesstic.
This recipe is the reason why I made a double batch of chili just for me. It also comes in handy if you like to jazz up leftovers into a new meal (I happen to fall into that category). I know this from experience as I was attempting to eat everything in my fridge before the holidays arrived. Normally this would have resulted in creating even more leftovers but I brought this dish to a potluck and it was a huge success! Which means no more leftovers, hooray!
…but now what am I supposed to eat?
Don’t forgot to enter the giveaway going on right now for an adorable cookie spatula!
CHEDDAR CHILI CORNBREAD PASTA BAKE
1-1/2 cups uncooked whole wheat elbow noodles
3/4 cup freshly grated cheddar cheese
2-1/2 – 3 cups of leftover chili
1 batch of your favorite cornbread (I used half of this recipe and baked the other half as muffins)
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
- Boil water and prepare pasta according to directions, shaving 1-2 minutes off the cooking time since the noodles are going into the oven. While the pasta is boiling, mix up a batch of your favorite cornbread and grate cheese. Drain pasta.
- Spray an 8×8-inch baking dish with non-stick spray. Add pasta to the bottom of the dish, then layer on the cheese and chili. Top with your cornbread batter, spreading gently with a spoon. Don’t worry if it doesn’t reach the edges.
- Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until cornbread is golden on top and cooked underneath*. Serve immediately. Leftovers are good for 3-4 days.
*Note: depending on what cornbread mixture you use, your cooking time may differ. Just make sure to check it after 30 minutes or so. The cooking time will increase for the bread since it has “wet” layers underneath.
Source: How Sweet It Is
Last week I came down with a pretty nasty cold. But since my cat is not much of a cook, I had to make myself some soup – or chili rather. This recipe is my dad’s so it was the closest thing to having someone else cook for me as I could get without leaving my apartment.
This chili actually recently won best chili in a contest my dad entered in their community. No wonder, when we used to live in Texas he was on a chili team! The only thing I changed was using hot chili beans instead of mild.
Most of the time I double this recipe. In which case I sometimes use half chuck steak and half ground beef, and one can hot beans and one can mild (and yes I actually did double it this time but am posting the undoubled version). As an added bonus, I also whipped up my mom’s jalapeno cornbread which I will be sharing with you tomorrow!
One year ago: Oven-Fried Onion Rings
1 medium onion, chopped
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 lb. beef chuck steak, cut into bite-sized pieces (may substitute with ground beef)
1-15 oz. can tomato sauce
1-6 oz. can tomato paste
1-10.75 oz. can condensed tomato soup
3/4 cup water
6 oz. beer (half a bottle)
1 Tbsp chili powder
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp Tabasco hot sauce (optional)
1-15 oz. can hot Mexican chili beans
1 medium green bell pepper, chopped
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese, plus more for topping
- In a large pot over medium heat, cook onion in olive oil until tender. Add meat and brown until only a little pink remains.
- Add sauce, paste, soup, water, beer, and seasonings. Thoroughly mix and reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer uncovered until thick, about 2 hours, or until the meat is very tender.
- Stir in the beans, pepper and cheese. Simmer for another 15 minutes and then serve immediately with additional cheese on top, and with either crackers or corn bread.
Source: My dad